CEO update – Parent Participation

Pace has been busy over the last few months, recruiting staff for our new commissioned posts and planning for the delivery of new services. Last year  we held consultations with parents and staff about gaps in support and what other services parents wanted from Pace. Overwhelmingly parents and staff fed back that out-of-hours support and access to therapy were a priority. Since then we have been working to establish funds to allow us to widen our current support service to offer this. We have been granted funds from the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit to run a pilot offering out-of-hours support for parents working with Pace via a crisis line, as well as access to therapy. The evaluated pilot will run to April 2024 and we hope to demonstrate the impact the service has to then attract funding to roll out the service across England and Wales.

In May I attended Parliament to give evidence to the all-party parliamentary group for child exploitation and knife crime. I shared how the cost of living crisis was impacting children being exploited. We have since joined other charities to continue to raise issues and input on the upcoming victims and prisoners bill, as well as the online harms bill. I am thrilled to read the update from the parent calling you for action. Having the voices of families with lived experience at the centre of decision-makers’ minds when considering approaches and legislation is crucial if we want to achieve genuine and meaningful change to the systems that should be protecting and supporting families from child exploitation. I will be joining the meeting and hope to see many of you there.
I would like to end with a huge thank you to all the parents who have worked alongside us so far this year, co-facilitating training, conferences and webinars. Having your voice and expertise has been so valuable when demonstrating why change is needed and how it should be achieved. Thank you.